While visiting the New York Botanical Garden I found a cultivar of Oakleaf Hydrangea that has exceptional flowers. Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Snowflake’ stands out for its fluffy double booms which appear fuller and larger than the straight species. The structure of the flower has a similar look to Origanum ‘Kent Beauty’ with layered sepals which cascade as the panicles fade.
The white blooms which appear in June-July last much longer than the straight Hydrangea quercifolia. The sepals fade from white to pink as they age giving a beautiful pastel kind of glow to the panicles. Just like fine wine and cheese, H. quercifolia ‘Snowflake’ gets better with age! This cultivar, hardy to zone 5, grows up to 8′ tall and can grow in sun to part shade.